#BooksforPrisoners Advent Calendar Day 8

The #BooksforPrisoners Advent calendar is a ‘Literary Protest’ against the restrictions on books being sent to UK prisoners

Every day until Christmas, a leading writer will be recommending the book that they would send to a prisoner as part of English PEN and the Howard League’s Books for Prisoners campaign.

Whilst the campaign saw a major victory last week, with the High Court ruling that the ban on books for prisoners was unlawful, we need to keep up the pressure until family and friends are once again able to send books to their loved ones in prisons.

Today: Jake Arnott

The Concise Oxford English Dictionary

When asked to repent, the condemned 18th century gaol-breaker Jack Shepherd declared: ‘a file’s worth all the bibles in the world.’ So I’d be reluctant to recommend any specific book to a prisoner and I’m much more interested in the reverse of this process. I still remember, ten years ago, how eloquently how a lifer in HMP Coldingley spoke of Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment. In prison Malcolm X was radicalised by looking up the definitions of ‘black’ and ‘white’ in a dictionary. Books can be tools for escape, here’s one that helps unlock them all.

View the advent calendar here

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